Maharashtra and Airport Authority of India (AAI) stamped their authority with power-packed performances to clinch the titles of the Yonex-Sunrise 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championships 2023 in the women’s and men’s team events respectively at the RG Baruah Sports Complex in Guwahati on Tuesday.
The prestigious national championships organised by Badminton Association of India (BAI), is being held in Assam after four years. The dominant AAI team appeared in both the men’s and women’s team finals and managed to clinch the title in the former category as they outclassed Karnataka 3-0.
Tharun Mannepalli started AAI’s challenge aggressively in the final when he thrashed Bhargav Somasundara 21-18, 21-18 in the opening singles match. Maisnam Meiraba then doubled the lead with a 22-20, 16-21, 21-11 win against Raghu Mariswamy in the second singles contest which lasted nearly an hour.
Later, men’s doubles duo of Alap Mishra-Ravikrishna finished things off in style for AAI as they defeated Prakash Raj-Ashith Surya 21-11, 16-21, 21-19.
Meanwhile in the women’s team event final, Maharashtra dominated AAI 3-0 with impressive displays from Shruti Mundada, Alisha Naik and the doubles pair of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker.
Mundada started the day for Maharashtra with a hard-fought win 23-21, 23-25, 21-18 over Tanya Hemanth in the opening singles match that lasted for an hour and 23 minutes. The second match also saw intense battle but Naik recovered well in time after losing the second set to secure a 21-18, 12-21, 21-19 victory against Mansi Singh.
Singhi and Thaker then took just 42 minutes to ensure Maharashtra’s position on top of the podium when the duo beat Tanya Hemanth and Priya Devi Konjengbam comfortably with the scores of 21-14, 21-18.
The individual events will kick-off on Wednesday with star shuttlers like BWF World championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen, experienced Sameer Verma, Aakarshi Kashyap, home favourite Ashmita Chaliha among many more vying for the coveted titles. Finals will be played on Sunday.